Creating a Multilingual Learning Environment at Home

Teaching material

Creating a conducive learning environment at home is essential for optimal learning. At home we are teaching our children in a variety of languages and it only seems proper to have a selection of material in the different languages to assist learning.

It is essential to give your child the opportunity to be associated with the various types of learning material be it books, DVDS, CDs, flashcards, interactive apps and programs from young. Through constant exposure and immersing a child in the different languages they get more accustomed to hearing, speaking and using it in their daily life. They will be able to relate to both the spoken and written version of the language and build up confidence using the language.

In our aim to raise multilingual children  I have gathered materials in English, Mandarin and Japanese. I have purchased flash cards in English, Mandarin and Japanese. I also have different graded  readers and story books in English, Mandarin and some books in both English and Mandarin  for my 3 kids so that they are exposed  to our two main languages from birth.  I’m still sourcing around for elementary level Japanese storybooks which are not too expensive. I have printed my own learning materials for them in Japanese which are adapted from my notes or websites which I have found online.

I do not need to source for additional material for teaching the children Cantonese as the dialect uses the same written Chinese characters. The only difference is the pronunciation of certain words like for example the number ” ONE” is “一”() in Mandarin and (yat) in Cantonese.  It’s amazing that the kids are able to distinguish between the two and not get it mixed up.

We focus on English, Mandarin and Cantonese daily while Japanese is practiced once a week as it’s the fourth language we are introducing to the kids so the time set aside for this language is lesser then the other three.

One of our favourite games which we play with our  21 month old is counting steps. We count from 1 to 10 with her in English, Mandarin, Cantonese and Japanese as we go up or down the flight of steps leading to our apartment unit. She has fun climbing stairs and learns her numbers in four languages at the same time.

How do you create a learning environment for your child at home?

4 thoughts on “Creating a Multilingual Learning Environment at Home”

  1. My girls are 16 & 22, but I always had educational toys, books, DVDs, etc when they were younger, but only in English. I think it is good to teach different languages considering the wide variety of languages spoken in the US today. I have taken Spanish I & II, but I still can’t speak Spanish or understand it enough to communicate. Maybe I need a refresher course 🙂

    Stopping by from VoiceBoks!

  2. Wow, Dominique, it’s just awesome that you’re raising your children to speak so many languages. They will be so much more aware of the world around them and they will have so many opportunities open to them! You are doing a great job.

  3. This is so wonderful! This looks like my homeschool bookshelf, It is wonderful to have so many book supplies for your kids and language books, we have alot of spanish things because I want my kids to be diversed in this world. Wonderful post!

  4. This is so fabulous that you’re doing this! It’s so important to speak other languages, and I think even more so in our new global economy.

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